Kiss – ‘Hot in the Shade’ (1989) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

It had been two years since the last studio album, ‘Crazy Nights’ and still the band wasn’t working on a new album. Gene Simmons was out producing bands on his record label and Paul Stanley decided that in early 1989, he was going to go out on a solo tour. People were freaking out as was this the end of Kiss. Paul’s solo band on the tour had two major Kiss connections. On guitar was Bob Kulick and on drums was future Kiss drummer Eric Singer who would take over after the death of Eric Carr. Paul even went so far as to sing and record the title song to the Wes Craven movie ‘Shocker’. Kiss in my eyes, seemed doomed.

But it wasn’t the end. In mid-1989, the band got back together and finally started working on the new album. They had a very small budget for this album so instead of going in and fully recording a new album, they grabbed a bunch of demos and re-worked or even overdubbed them to turn them in to the album we have here. ‘Hot in The Shade’ has a crazy number of songs with 15 and the album was about an hour long. This was the late 80’s when bands felt they needed to fill up the entire CD and as a result, we got a lot of bloated albums at that time. If you knocked a few songs off this album, it would be a lot better but still suck.

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Billy Raffoul – 1975 E.P. – Album Review

Before we get into the album review, let me go into the story of how I came across Billy Raffoul.  My wife and I went to see Needtobreathe in concert on August 21st, 2018 (CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW).  Billy was the opening act of a triple bill.  When we arrived he came storming on stage before we got to our seat.  We didn’t mean to arrive then, traffic just sucked.

When I go to a show, I enjoy watching the opening acts and giving them the respect they deserve.  Hey, you never know if they will be the next big thing.  Watching Billy, I felt that he could be just that.  While I was listening to him, I turned to my wife and told her that I loved his voice.  It has this Jeff Buckley raspiness that was incredible.  Imagine my surprise when I read his bio online, it actually mentions that same Buckley feel.  Glad I wasn’t imagining things.

I can’t tell you the songs he sang as I had never heard of him before, but I do know he played Jimi Hendrix’s Fire.  Hell, he is a lefty like Jimi and has that same upside down lefty guitar.  I am sure he knows he could actually buy a left handed guitar!!

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